I managed to stop my dad from going to casinos for good. That was surprising, considering he had loved baccarat, roulettes, and slot machines even before he met my mom and started a family. I had been bugging him to quit because he almost had a stroke last year due to a blockage in his coronary artery. This had been remedied since then, but it was too risky for a middle-aged man like him to continue living like a young adult who could stay awake for days while playing games.
In truth, I was so happy with this change that I bought plane tickets for my parents so that they could visit the Vatican for a few days. They always told me about their dream of seeing the Pope in person, and I thought it was the best time. My dad was turning over a new leaf and letting go of a long-standing bad habit, after all.
Unfortunately, my celebration was short-lived. As soon as I picked up my parents at the airport after their trip, Dad kept talking about his newfound hobby. When I asked what it was, he merely said, “Sports betting.”
My eyes almost popped out of my skull back then, and my mouth hung open for a few seconds. I did not know what to feel about this revelation. Mom was unhappy about it, given that she was scowling the entire time that my dad was telling me how he found it and why he fell in love with it. I tried to mull over his reasons and realized the pros and cons of sports betting, especially for loved ones with cardiovascular issues.
They Don’t Leave The House
The primary advantage of placing bets on various games online is that you need not leave the house to do that. Most betting companies have websites where you can log in and find out the status of the games. Others even have apps so that you may check them on your mobile device anytime.
In my dad’s situation, sports betting was incredibly favorable because he could stay at home without getting bored. The boredom was among the reasons why he used to want to go to casinos. Even if they never had marital problems, my mom could often be very silent, and that’s not what Dad wanted. But the more online bets he could do, the more he did not mind not seeing the outside world.
You Can Limit Their Betting Time
My dad’s problem going to a casino was that we could not be there long enough to coax him to come home after a few hours. Especially whenever he’s winning, no one could make him leave the slots. There was even a time when he fell asleep on the table after playing for two nights straight.
Since Dad started betting in the house, though, persuading him to stop at mealtimes and before bed became doable. Despite the initial protests we heard from him, he agreed to part with his iPad or iPhone to eat or rest.
They Are Still Losing Real Money
At first, I supported my dad’s decision to start betting on sports virtually. I thought it was nothing but a free game that other people did to pass the time. However, while he was using the app one day, I saw him keying in his credit card details, which meant that Dad was betting with real money.
That would have been fine if my dad could guarantee to win every single time he betted on a player. As expected, it is impossible to happen, so he can still lose money like he is in a casino. I understood at that point why my mom had been against it from the beginning.
It Prevents Them From Having A Not-So-Sedentary Lifestyle
With my dad’s heart no longer in perfect condition, his doctor strongly advised him to exercise more. He agreed to either walk around the neighborhood for 30 minutes or at least tend to the garden in the backyard. This way, he could get some vitamin D, too.
But once Dad embraced sports betting entirely, his physical activities significantly lessened. The daily walks were gone; the lawn grass grew so much that Mom decided to hire someone else to mow it. It made us worry, considering a sedentary lifestyle was never a match for anyone—especially not for someone whose health depended on the opposite of that.
It seems too mean to restrict my father from sports betting entirely, so my mom and I struck a deal with him. If he promised to alternate it with walking or gardening and capping the bets at $50 each time, he could continue with his new hobby. Luckily, Dad was agreeable at the time. Perhaps he knew that we were correct or felt that he could never win the argument—either way, it meant that sports betting won’t worsen his cardiovascular problems.